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Adjustment Of Status Help Guide: AOS from a K-1 Fiance or K-3 Spouse Visa

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AOS = Adjustment Of Status
PR = Permanent Resident
GC = Green Card
AP = Advance Parole
EAD = Employment Authorization Document
SSN = Social Security Number
USC = United States Citizen
UKC = United Kingdom Citizen
NOA = Notice Of Action (Receipts)

Congratulations on getting your K1 visa!
Unfortunately the fun doesn't stop there! Once you have entered the USA within validity period of the K-1 visa, usually 6 months from date of issue unless otherwise noted on the visa itself, and have married within 90 days of entry, you need to send off your AOS application. You will not get a letter telling you when or how to do this. However, you need to file for AOS after you're married and preferably before your 90 days of K-1 status is up (as indicated by the date on your I-94). A few things you'll want to keep hold of are:

  • your I-797 approval notice from your I-129F (your USC should have this)
  • your Vaccination Worksheet from your medical at Knightsbridge Doctors (form DS-XXXX)
  • the I-94 (white form) you filled out on the plane when you flew over to the USA. The I-94 will be stapled into your passport and will be written on with your A# and the date of arrival.


Contents

[edit] Social Security Number

One thing you may want to do is apply for your SSN. It is recommended you do this about 10-15 days after arrival in the US. This allows your data to be entered into the SAVE system which SSA accesses to verify your immigration status so a social security number can be assigned to you. It is further suggested that you apply before the 76th day of your arrival otherwise you will have to wait until you have received your EAD or Green Card. If you decide to get your SSN at this point it will have written on it "Valid for Work with DHS Authorization Only". This means you can only work with the express permission from the USCIS which would be in the form of a valid EAD or GC. Once you have your GC, you need to go back to the Social Security Office to have the legend removed. They will send you a new card without the legend and the number will remain the same. If instead you wish to wait to get your SSN, and don't plan on trying to work before then, you can apply for it when you have your GC.

Social Security Form SS-5
Social Security for Noncitizens Info

[edit] I-485 Application for Permanent Resident

Now for the actual AOS part! This is a list of forms, and supporting documents I came up with for an AOS package. I have provided links to each forms. To view the forms you made need Adobe PDF reader.

Here is some information on filling out the forms for your AOS application:

  • Most of these forms can be filled in on your computer, some may not save and so need to be printed when filled out.
  • Your A# is found on your I-797
  • The request on the I-485 for your "visa number" is obsolete -- most people put in either the "control number" or the red number. The answer does not matter inasmuch as you will have provided a photocopy of the visa with your supporting documentation.
  • If you don't have your SSN yet draw a horizontal line through the box. The line will indicate that you have not ignored the question, but will make it easy for the information to be provided at the interview.
  • If you come across a question such as "How many Children have accompanied you" and you have none, you write NONE. For questions that aren't applicable to you, you write "N/A." Or you may draw a line through them.
  • If you wish your Green Card/EAD/AP/SSN to come in your married name use this on the forms when it asks for your Surname/Last Name.
  • "KEEP A COPY OF EVERYTHING YOU SEND TO THE USCIS" (if it gets lost, or you are asked to go for an interview you will need all these documents again!)

I-485 Form
I-485 Instructions
This form needs the following documents to go with it:

  • G325a Note: this form used to be 4 pages long, some people continue to send in 4 pages stapled together - I did, they were fine with it)
  • I-94 (I sent original - If you do this, make a photocopy for yourself to keep as records)
  • I-797 (approval notice from I-129F)
  • 2 photos - US passport Sized
  • copy of visa
  • copy of all passport pages
  • copy of birth certificate (long form - Order Here: UK Birth Certificates)
  • Evidence of On-Going relationship (read further down for list of evidence)
  • I-693 (Vaccine Supplement)
  • I-693 Instructions
  • USCIS Doctor Locater

Note: K Visa's: If you were admitted to the United States as a fiance(e) (K-1), child of a fiance(e) (K-2), Spouse of a U.S. citizen (K-3), or child of K-3 (K-4), and received a medical examination prior to admission, then you do not require another medical examination as long as your application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) is filed within one year of your overseas medical examination. You will, however, be required to submit a vaccination supplement with your adjustment of status application. The vaccination supplement must be completed by a designated civil surgeon.

You must book an appointment with a USCIS approved doctor in your area, and take with you the fee they charge (it is worth calling around the designated doctors in your area as the fees can vary wildly and they seem to prefer cash), ID, and your Vaccine Worksheet from your medical examination at Knightsbridge. The USCIS doctor will fill out the appropriate parts of the I-693 and any vaccines you may still need. S/he will give you the stamped and signed form in a sealed envelope. You must NOT open this envelope. This is to be sent with your I-485 application.

Call around the USCIS doctors in your area, make sure they understand you don't need a FULL medical, only the supplement. This may mean you don't get charged a huge amount of money. Although a K-1 applicant does not need a full medical, there is usually no harm if one is provided [other than the extra expense].

  • I-864 (Affidavit Of Support)
  • I-864P (Poverty Guidelines 2009) - Unless sponsor is in the military follow guidelines for 125% list.
  • USC Birth certificate/photo ID.
  • Letter From Bank (date accounts were opened, current balance, total amount deposited in the last 12 months)
  • 4-6 months worth bank statements
  • Employment Letter (stating date started, pay, hours etc, needs to be signed and dated by manager)
  • 4-6 months worth pay slips
  • tax return transcripts for the last year, providing the last 3 years is optional (recommended). Get free copies of Tax Return Transcripts here


I-864 NOTES:

  • Your USC husband/wife MUST fill out an I-864 to be sent with the AOS, send supporting documents too, even if he/she doesn't meet the poverty guideline.
  • If your husband/wife doesn't meet the guideline you must find a joint sponsor. The joint sponsor can be a USC or LPR who is 18 or over, and resident in the US.
  • Household numbers for the poverty guideline are, anyone living in the house of the person who is sponsoring, AND any dependents listed on his or her Tax Returns as dependents.
  • If Self-Employed: personal income is calculated by doing this: Total Business Income per year minus Business Expenses (claimed as deductions on his tax return) equals his personal income. (Example:$30,000 income from the business, minus $20,000 in business expenses. Personal income (profit) would only be $10,000.) Proof of income would be contracts with jobs done, receipts, bank statements. Letter from people worked for etc.

Evidence of relationship:

  • copy of marriage license
  • wedding photos
  • wedding cards
  • letters from family/friends
  • joint bank accounts
  • joint phone plan
  • joint car insurance/title/registration
  • house bills
  • statement of beneficiaries for medical insurance/401K/IRA

etc

[edit] Employment Authorization and Advance Parole

Both EAD and AP are temporary documents to be used UNTIL you have your GC. EAD allows you to get a job and work (if you apply for SSN). When filling out form I-131, Application for Travel, you need to fill out the part for Advance Parole, multiple entries preferably. AP allows you to leave the country and enter safely until you have your GC, it is not recommended you use AP if you have been out of status in the US for 6 or more months. Once you have your GC you use that to both work and travel. DO NOT TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE USA WITHOUT AP OR GC!

  • On form I-131, Fill out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 - Processing Information, I left both: 1. Intended Departure and 2. Expected Length Of Trip blank. Make sure you fill out No.3 though! Then as it says, skip to Part 7. Advance Parole.

[edit] Fees and How to File

The Filing fee for the AOS application can be found here or in the instructions for the form.

  • As of this date 24th October 2009, the filing fee is $930
  • The biometrics fee is $80.
  • There is no fee for the EAD or AP when filing them with your AOS application.

I found the easiest way to send these documents were to use large paper clips to hold together the form I-485 with supporting documents, the same with the I-864 with supporting documents and then got a large bulldog clip to put the I-864 and documents with the I-485 and documents.

I used a separate paper clip to put the I-131 with its supporting documents, and another for the form I-765 and supporting documents. I did not attach these to the I-485 application.

I made a contents sheet for each form, listing the supporting documents I had attached with it, and my A# and full name, this I put at the front of each form.

You must submit one check or money order for the total of the filing fee and biometrics fee. Currently the full amount is $1010. You can find the filling fee information, and filing address on the I-485 instructions, pages 5 onwards. I-485 Instructions


You may enjoy the information in this link: USCIS: Tips for Filing Petitions and Applications

[edit] What Next? (NOAs and Biometrics)

AOS processing times vary from 2 months to a year. So be patient!

Once your application is submitted you will get a NOA receipt for the AOS, EAD and AP. These are to let you know they have received your forms and are processing them.

The next thing you will get is an appointment letter for your Biometrics. They will have an address of a place as local to you as they can get, a date and time for you to be there.

You will need to take the biometrics appointment letter and photo ID to your appointment. You will be asked to fill out a form on arrival. The form data will be entered into a computer, you will have your photograph taken, and your fingerprints taken. The biometrics will be used for both form I-485 (AOS) AND I-765 (EAD).

You will then hopefully receive your EAD and AP.

You may or may not be asked to go for an interview for your AOS application, you can read more about AOS interviews by searching the forums. One example of an AOS interview from pattschn

Note that all couples, and applications vary and so the interview wont be exact to this one. This is just an example of how it might go.

Whether you go for an interview or not, you will be notified by mail if you have been approved or not, If you have you will receive your green card in the post 30-60 days (times may vary due to post/weather/processing times etc.

If you are not approved I recommend seeking help from an Immigration Lawyer who can help you appeal the decision if necessary.


[Original work by PepsiChic]


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